We chose the Norwegian Jade to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary because we wanted to be with our NCL friends and it could not have been better. We sailed last year on the Jade on a 14 day back to back out of Venice in Suite 10500 which we really enjoyed but decided to upgrade to the Deluxe Owners Suite 15000 when we were made an offer we couldn't refuse. I will cover the Suite under the cabin review so this part is really about our time onboard as we only did two tours and walked ashore on three occasions, mainly because we were so comfortable in the Black Diamond Suite. On arrival onboard we were delighted to see that Carlos Zarate was still the Concierge and we were soon welcomed with great hugs, so nice to see him again. Across to Cagney's for a spot of lunch to find that Estu the waiter was also still onboard and we were soon brought up to date with regards to Johannes, now in charge of the Jasmine restaurant and Jasmine who was in Le Bistro.
We chose to eat off the Grand Pacific menu in the Suite on our first night and Roshan the Butler soon had the table set and the meal delivered, which was excellent. Our daughters had ordered a Romance package so the roses, chocolate strawberries, chocolate and sparkling wine were a nice surprise. Breakfast in Cagney's shows just how good the crew are when I was presented with a bowl of Mini-Wheat's, the only sugar free cereal available onboard and a question as to whether or not I would be having my favourite Jalapeno three egg omelette which they remembered I loved. I have to say that the omelette was excellent and I had two more during the trip. Off to the Meet and Greet in Le Bistro and I was a bit disappointed this time. The officers attended with brief introductions and then as they left the Meet and Greet became a Tour organizers session and we who were not part of the tours were told to be quiet as important things were being organized. I am sorry but it is called a Meet and Greet and I doubt I will attend another. Later that day was the German buffet and Oompah Band in the Great Outdoors, followed by the Latitudes party, where as you are not allowed to shake hands with the officers, I started the knuckles style of handshake which seemed acceptable. From there a quick sleep, then down for our formal photo shoot and then to the Captains Cocktails where we were very well looked after before going to Le Bistro for our anniversary celebrations. Carlos had arranged a rose for my wife and a celebration cake which was very nice and we were serenaded by the staff.
We had a quiet day on Monday and dined in the Grand Pacific which I find quite noisy, but the food was excellent. We had put our name down for Dining with the Officers and I recommend everyone puts their name down, we had Heather the Acupuncture Manager as our host and we both thoroughly enjoyed the meal. We had a look round the Haven, but really preferred to just laze around the suite. On Tuesday we walked ashore at Alanya, and had our Romance Package dinner in Pap's where we got another serenade and another cake. On Wednesday we went ashore at Limassol and had a pleasant lunch before returning via the shuttle bus to the ship. In Haifa we took an NCL tour to a winery and Rothschild's Gardens and this was very interesting with good samples of wine and cheese, and on Friday we stayed on board enjoying the peace and quiet. Carlos invited us to have dinner with him and an Australian couple Alan and Lynne in the Grans Pacific and we soon had made some new friends who we invited to visit us in Suite 15000, and Roshan soon had the table set with nuts etc. and we opened the bottle of champagne supplied by NCL and had a wonderful afternoon. In Crete we did another wine tour which was quite good and had dinner in Jasmine before attending the crew show. Simone, the Cruise Director is excellent, his own piece was very funny and the Fountains were as excellent as ever. On the next sea day I got an invite to visit the Bridge and found this very interesting with a lot of information forthcoming. That evening we ate in the Blue Lagoon before going to the Chocaholic Buffet where as usual there was an excellent spread.
In Naples we chose to go to Sorrento by taxi, and Rafaele proved to be an excellent guide, looking after us well and making sure we got some good images and returned us safely to the ship. As it was the last night, we had dinner again in the room from the Grand Pacific menu before turning in one last time in our ivory tower.
It is interesting that on this trip we never really saw any officers to talk too except Simone and Carlos, unlike the last trip when we regularly talked to everyone. You saw them at a distance but they didn't seem keen to mingle. Getting ashore was emotional saying goodbye to Carlos the Concierge who looked after us so well, always keen to chat; I can't wait to get back onboard.
You can see the images at http://www.flickr.com/photos/magickpyggie